Tense negotiations

The nurses strike at two private New York City hospitals – Montefiore and Mount Sinai – involving over 7,000 nurses entered its second day Tuesday. Montefiore said it was holding bargaining sessions Tuesday. Mount Sinai has no plans to do so, according to the nurses’ union.

The sticking point continues to be enforcing safe staffing levels, New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) union officials said.

A pediatric oncology nurse at Mount Sinai who administers chemotherapy to children with cancer said it’s hard to leave her patients to strike, but she knows it’s in the best interest of their care.

“We love these patients more than anything,” Melissa Perleoni said, “and it breaks our heart – at least it breaks my heart – to be out here but I have to do this for the future of their care.”

Ribas said she hopes hospital management reaches a contract with the nurses soon.

“The nurses are the heart of the NICU, and they do need to figure it out before it becomes a different situation – because every single minute, every hour, the babies are running a very, very high risk of even dying in here.”

“There’s nothing that could bring your kid back. Nothing,” she said.

– CNN’s Tami Luhby, Vanessa Yurkevich and Mark Morales contributed to this report

Credit: CNN- New York